gardening as a renter
Gardening as a renter is a challenge, and finding space is the first concern.
Apartment dwellers may have only a small balcony or sunny window with room for a few small pots. Condominium dwellers might have a patio, but they may be limited by covenants, shade from trees and other restrictions.
Renting a house or duplex may offer more room, but renters may need to convince their landlord to allow them to maintain a garden.
To convince a reluctant landlord, mention gardening classes you have taken, show photos of past gardens, and offer to put an agreement in writing. Include details about what you will plant and how you will maintain it. You'll also want to be clear that you will bear the financial responsibility. Promise to plant an easily maintained garden and to restore it to its original condition if you move. Avoid water gardens, invasive groundcovers, vines and exotic, hard-to-maintain plants.
Container gardening often is the easiest solution for renters. Pots and planter boxes come in many shapes and sizes, take up little space, are movable and easily maintained. Check container gardening books for ideas.
If container gardening isn't appealing or you're unable to convince your landlord to let you maintain a garden, you might consider other options. For example, find out if your neighborhood has a community garden, offer your gardening skills to an elderly homeowner, or volunteer your time to the local gardening club or botanic gardens. Indeed, there are many ways to realize the benefits of gardening for yourself and others!
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Updated Friday, April 19, 2013